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Q. I prefer studying in the Main Library - can you bring back parking tickets?

Answered By: Elizabeth Andrews
Last Updated: Jun 01, 2018     Views: 73

Thank you very much for taking the time to fill in one of our You Said We Did cards. It is really useful for us to hear why you prefer to study in the Main Library, but we do understand the frustrations with people hogging seats. This issue is something we’ve struggled with for some years.

Student opinion seems to be split. Many students like yourself think we should carry out some kind of intervention, while others think it is their right to reserve a seat and that they are only doing it because there aren’t enough seats.

During 2015/16 we ran our parking ticket campaign where we tried to monitor space, placing the yellow parking ticket you refer to on any desks that we thought had been hogged for more than an hour. It acted as a marker to other students that they could occupy the desk. This generated a lot of attention but wasn’t effective in actually freeing up space.

We have introduced a system of removing belongings (unattended belongings are put into boxes and left for students to collect when they return) in St Mary’s Library which has been successful and we are using a similar system in Martyrs Kirk. However, both of these are far smaller facilities so it’s easier to monitor the space and also more practical to remove items. 

Unfortunately this isn’t something we can scale-up to implement at the Main Library - apart from anything else, we have very little space to hold the crates of student belongings. However, we continue to look at different options which allow us to gather more detailed information about which individual seats are taken or unoccupied for a certain period of time. This information may allow us to more easily intervene. We are also looking at ways to promote other study spaces for those who are not aware of them and who may prefer a different environment. And over this summer we are moving some shelving to add a further 70 seats to the Main Library to help accommodate those who prefer this space.

We do recognise this is an issue for students and it is a tricky one for us – but we do continue to work to make improvements.  

Thank you again for your feedback,


Beth Andrews - Communications Officer